LightTrends Newsletter

5G Americas: Oops, we forgot voice!

November 2022

By Stephane Teral and Stelyana Baleva

While I was roaming the aisles of the OCP Global Summit in San Jose, CA, October 18 -20, Stelyana attended the 5G Americas’ annual analyst forum in cowboy nation, Irving, TX. In the pre-pandemic era, it used to be a sort of 24-hour restless boondoggle where tons of analysts, mostly U.S.-based, gathered to enjoy dinner, drinks and easy access to the 5G Americas’ communications service providers (CSPs) and vendor members. This year, far less analysts showed up, which is probably due to the overwhelming overlapping of several events spread around the world that very same week. The format remained the same though: a mix of plenary sessions and short roundtables, a dinner, which happened to be outside in the cold, and endless drinks. It’s worth mentioning that Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile U.S., serves as Chairman of the 5G Americas Board of Governors for 2022.

As usual, the organization’s president Chris Pearson kicked off the event by reminding everyone in the audience that 5G Americas’ chief mission is to facilitate and advocate for the advancement and transformation of LTE, 5G and beyond throughout the Americas. He proudly welcomed the new member companies that brought the total number to 18; broken down as follows:

  • CSPs: Antel, AT&T, Liberty Latin America, Shaw Communications, T-Mobile US, Telefónica, and WOM
  • Vendors: Airspan, Ciena, Cisco, Crown Castle, Ericsson, Intel, Mavenir, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, and VMware
Clearly, there is still some room for improvement to increase the membership. Although we can argue that having Telefónica on board—a long lasting member actually—allows 5G Americas to cover 37% of Latin America, it would be nice to bring América Móvil back to get another 37%. We still wonder why did they leave? Then, moving North, where are Bell, Rogers, and Telus? And of course, Verizon, for very good reasons, has never been a fan of this organization. Think about the pre-LTE CDMA vs. GSM era; remember how that all started? 3G Americas, a GSM American gang.

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